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World

Death toll from Indonesian quake, tsunami rises to 832 – Gov’t

People search through debris in a residential area following an earthquake and tsunami in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia September 30, 2018.

The death toll from an earthquake and tsunami on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi rose to 832 on Sunday, the national disaster mitigation agency said, adding it assessed the affected area to be bigger than initially thought.

Many people were reported trapped in the rubble of buildings brought down in the 7.5 magnitude earthquake which struck on Friday and triggered tsunami waves as high as six meters (20 feet), agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told a news conference.

In the city — home to around 350,000 people — partially covered bodies lay on the ground near the shore, the day after tsunami waves 1.5 meters high hit the coast.

There were also concerns over the whereabouts of hundreds of people preparing for a beach festival that had been due to start Friday evening, the disaster agency said.

Hospitals were overwhelmed by the influx of injured, with many people being treated in the open air, while other survivors helped to retrieve the remains of those who died.

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